Entries in Jewelry (3)


Elderly International Jewel Thief, Doris Payne, Wants to Stay in Jail

Kevin Horan/Stone(SAN DIEGO) -- An elderly, international jewel thief is fighting her early release from prison.

Doris Payne, 80, was convicted in January 2011 for stealing a diamond ring from a Macy’s in California worth almost $9,000, according to local affiliate KGTV located in San Diego.

“She doesn’t have anywhere to go, so she’s staying in there,” attorney Gretchen Von Helms told KGTV.

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Von Helms receives letters regularly from Payne.  In one letter, Payne described inhaling pepper spray during an inmate fight, resulting in her breathing “harshly.”  She also bragged about a ring she stole in the 1960′s. The wife of baseball star Willie Mays was the prime suspect in the case and mistakenly arrested.

Just last year when Payne was convicted, she fought the five-year sentence.

“I really don’t think you should be that harsh with me.  I am truly sorry this went on as long as it did,” Payne told the judge, who gave her the maximum term, according to KGTV.

Von Helms argued for a three-year sentence, citing the fact her client had serious health problems.

Payne stole jewelry for six decades, reportedly around the world.

“I didn’t start out stealing jewelry,” Payne told KGTV.  “I started out making the salesperson forget it.”

In an interview with ABC News last year, Von Helms said Payne would dress to the nines, try on pieces of jewelry, banter with the clerk and, only after the fact, the clerk would realize a piece was missing.

Von Helms said the case in California was one of mistaken identity.

“She’s had a history of other times where she’s been accused righteously, and also accused falsely,” she said in the interview.  “She has a certain notoriety.”

Payne reportedly had 20 recorded aliases, five Social Security numbers and nine dates of birth on record.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Philadelphia Jewel Heist Caught on Tape

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(PHILADELPHIA) -- Philadelphia police have released a tape they believe shows a man breaking into a woman’s apartment and leaving with jewelry valued at $875,000.

The alleged burglary took place late in the morning on Jan. 18, in a building on central Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square. The suspect can be seen exiting the scene via elevator. Police believe he then left the building the same way he entered, through a construction zone on an adjacent street.

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“He knew where he was going and we believe he had prior knowledge. This was not a random act,” said Lt. Pat Dougherty of the Philadelphia Police told ABC News affiliate WPVI-TV.

WPVI reports that the haul consisted mostly of gold rings and the assorted jewelry collection of a woman living on the building’s 29th floor.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Vermont Man Arrested After Proposing with Stolen Engagement Ring

Burlington Police Department(BURLINGTON, Vt.) -- Happily ever after got off to a rough start when a woman’s acceptance of her boyfriend’s marriage proposal landed him in jail. It turned out that Amber LaFountain’s new fiance, Ryan Jarvis, had stolen the engagement ring from a jewelry store.

LaFountain posted engagement photos on Facebook, and anonymous tips to the police following a news release about the robbery led to Jarvis.

Jarvis was ring shopping at a Burlington, Vt., Zales jewelry store on Dec. 26. Store employees told police he was perusing the ring selection for over an hour, at one point asking to compare the rings, which a clerk did not allow him to do.

“The male asked to see a 14K white gold solitaire weighing 1.01 carats. The ring has four prongs cradling the diamond,” according to an affidavit from the Burlington Police Department. “After looking at the ring briefly he ran east out of the store and through a mall exit which enters the garage.”

Jarvis managed to escape the mall with the $3,199 ring.

As police dusted the jewelry cases looking for finger prints and began their investigation, Jarvis took LaFountain out for dinner and popped the question. She accepted and posted a photo of the ring on her Facebook page.

Police released information about the stolen ring and multiple anonymous callers reported information to the police, including three of LaFountain’s own friends who all identified Jarvis as her fiance.

When police arrived at LaFountain’s home, they found her outside. She confirmed that she had gotten engaged the previous evening and had the ring with her. She said it didn’t fit, and she and Jarvis had taken it to have a ring sizer attached.

“While speaking with LaFountain she spontaneously asked if Jarvis had stolen the ring,” Burlington Police Officer Jesse Stewart wrote in the affidavit. “I asked her why she thought that and she reported that they did not have a lot of money and that she assumed so since the police were there.”

LaFountain handed over the ring and it matched the photo and serial number provided by the jewelry store. Jarvis came outside and admitted to the theft.

“He advised he selected a ring but knew that he could not afford it,” Stewart wrote. “He reported that he considered financing options but concluded that he would be unable to afford the ring he wanted. He reported he then ran out of the store with the ring. He advised he knew it was a stupid thing to do.”

Jarvis was arrested and charged with retail theft.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio